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Kunle Awoshiyan | No fewer than 200 soldiers have been sacked by Nigerian Army for cowardice and failure to fight against Boko Haram militants, according to BBC.

A Nigerian military source told BBC, adding that about 4,500 other rank and file soldiers could be dismissed.

The source said that many of the dismissals were connected to the fall of Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa State, one of three states under the state of emergency.

Boko Haram insurgents captured the town in October after clashes with government forces.

One of the soldiers who has been dismissed, and was present at the fall of Mubi, told the BBC Hausa service that soldiers were simply following orders from their commanders, who had told them to retreat from the town because they lacked adequate weapons to take on the militants.

He said, “We weren’t given an opportunity to defend ourselves. I’ve spent 20 years in the service of the Nigerian army, I’ve never been accused of any offence,” said the soldier, who did not want to be named.

It is expected that the soldiers who have been dismissed will not receive any extra payment or pensions because of their low rank and are not entitled to defend themselves in a military court, the BBC says.